Chicago’s oldest scholarship program carries MLK legacy to find life mentors

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Esmeralda Leon, Jonathan Swain and Jon Hansen in WGN’s Allstate Showcase Studio.

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linkunlimited.orgJonathan Swain joins Jon Hansen and Esmeralda Leon as they fill-in on The Matt Bubala Show. Swain is in-studio to talk about the importance of community and his work with Link Unlimited Scholars, which is a program that teams up Chicago African-American high school students with great mentors to help succeed.

Swain says so far they have been able to help 2,400 students throughout Chicago.  Now a board member, he says that he once went through program himself. Swain says that it’s one of Chicago’s oldest scholarship programs and the goal is to carry on the legacy of Martin Luther King and his dream. As students or mentees are set up with mentors, Swain says that it’s really about “finding mentors for life.” He explains that the “one-on-one mentoring is a key part of our model. We think that’s something that makes our program unique.” Mentors are matched up with mentees for different growing experiences. The goal is to create more internships so the students could have the opportunity to get better jobs. Not only are scholarships available, but Link Unlimited is working to help cover the cost of public school, as well.  Swain likes to “see the legacy of people who have gone through the program and now give back to the program throughout time.”

A fundraising gala will be held this Tuesday. Generally they honor students, but for the first time they are honoring a company. The dream keepers gala will have an auction at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.  For more information, visit






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